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Gluten Intolerance - What Do I Need to Know?

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Beginning a Gluten-Free Diet

A strict gluten-free diet is the number one step in treatment of gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  This is a big undertaking and yet it is critically necessary. Symptoms of these disorders will only resolve when gluten is removed from the diet. Even small amounts of gluten reactivate the disease-causing immune mechanism. Even 20 parts per million (ppm; a standard measure of concentration) can cause symptoms in a person who is gluten intolerant.

The very good news is that gluten intolerance and celiac disease are receiving a much higher media profile. Broadcast, print, and new media are focusing on these disorders, with featured content appearing frequently in the national press. The result is that gluten-free foods and household products are becoming much more widely available. Most health food stores and markets have created a gluten-free section and continue to expand their offerings.

Approximately 40% of Americans have the genetic potential to become gluten intolerant. More than 1% of Americans have celiac disease. In fact, this percentage may be a low estimate because most physicians are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, which can be a "great masquerader". Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are closely related. After repeated exposure to gluten, a person who is gluten intolerant may develop celiac disease. Gluten is a complex of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. The human digestive tract cannot break down gluten into its component amino acids, so gluten proteins persist in the gastrointestinal tract until they are excreted.

In susceptible individuals, the gluten proteins may be identified as "foreign" and their immune systems may launch a reaction against these non-self proteins. In such persons, including infants, children, teenagers, and adults, continued exposure to gluten may cause development of signs and symptoms of celiac disease.1-2

Wheat, rye, and barley comprise significant components of the Western diet. Almost all breads are made from one or more of these three grains. Cookies, cakes, bagels, muffins, pizza, and pasta are all gluten-containing foods. Additionally, gluten is found in vitamin pills, shampoo, toothpaste, household cleansers, and even prescription drugs. Wheat-based binders are often used in the manufacturing process of these articles. So gluten is literally everywhere.

A susceptible person's initial immune reaction to gluten persists with continued exposure. Eventually the immune reaction may damage the lining of the person's small intestine, leading to the classic symptoms of celiac disease - abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea, and abdominal bloating. Intestinal damage causes these very unpleasant and debilitating symptoms and may also lead to additional serious diseases. Malnutrition is one of the major consequences of celiac disease.

Importantly, gluten intolerance may be related to a variety of serious disorders. Neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and schizophrenia may be associated with underlying gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), and psoriatic arthritis may be related to gluten intolerance. Endocrine conditions including diabetes, hyper- and hypothryroidism, and Addison's disease are often related to gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Infertility and frequent miscarriages may also be related to an underlying condition of gluten intolerance.

The takeaway is this. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease may be an underlying cause of serious medical conditions that have not been treated successfully. The key is considering gluten intolerance as an underlying cause and taking appropriate action. Patient knowledge and increased physician knowledge and awareness are crucial to correctly identifying a hidden problem.3

Your family chiropractor is an expert in nutrition and is trained to identify underlying causes of health problems. In addition, chiropractic treatment may help restore more normal and more effective immune system functioning. In cases requiring a holistic, multidisciplinary approach, chiropractic treatment is a crucial component.

1Selimolu MA, Karabiber H: Celiac disease. Prevention and treatment. J Clin Gastroenterol 44(1):4-8, 2010
2Setty M, et al: Celiac disease: risk assessment, diagnosis, and monitoring. Mol Diagn Ther 12(5):289-298, 2008
3Schuppan D, et al: Celiac disease: from pathogenesis to novel therapies. Gastroenterology 137(6):1912-1933, 2009

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Located on the corner of Main Avenue and Valley View Road across the street from Merritt Building 301

We value our patients' experience at Stamford Sports & Spine. If you are currently a patient, please feel free to complete the following Client Experience Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is in Adobe Acrobat format, and requires the free Acrobat Reader to view.

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Dr. Andrew Zomick & Dr. David Avallon

I have been coming to Stamford Sports and Spine for almost 10 years. I am active and have unfortunately been in a few car accidents. The care and treatment offered at Stamford Sports and Spine is world class and without them I would be living with an inordinate amount of pain and discomfort. Going to Stamford Sports and Spine has made my injuries manageable.

--James


Very good team of therapists. Flexible and available schedule. They helped get my teenage athletes back on the field in half the time.

--Shawn


I was experiencing some pain in my right shoulder and numbness down my arm to my hand. The range of motion in my shoulder was limited and I could not participate in volleyball. Dr. Z came to our office offering a free chair massage and a chance to come in for an evaluation. I did this and we worked out a treatment plan that included therapy and adjustments. I noticed in the first few weeks the pain subsided greatly in my shoulder. The numbness in the arm and hand were present but noticeably better. After three weeks, the range of motion in my shoulder was back to normal and the pain was gone. Now after one month of therapy the numbness in the arm is extremely better and I do not notice the symptoms as often as I used to. Coming into the office has helped tremendously. I can now play volleyball pain-free.

--Mary


After moving from London to the USA, two weeks into living in Stamford and having carried and unpacked a lot of heavy boxes my shoulder froze and I was in a great deal of constant pain. After finding Stamford Sports & Spine on the internet I made an appointment and the corrective programme S.S.S. put together for me meant that I immediately had some pain relief, and over the next few weeks the pain left completely. The programme is also ensuring that I am not only pain free but fully corrected so as this problem should not occur again. Very friendly staff and very detailed assessment programme that has ensured my full recovery.

--Laura


From my first visit to Stamford Sports & Spine I was extremely impressed and pleased with their service. Everyone including staff and doctors were very knowledgeable with their chiropractic services. I learned a great deal about my symptoms and overall care more than I expected. I have visited a few other chiropractors but none were as thorough as Stamford Sports & Spine. I was experiencing severe pain in my shoulder and arm and after a few visits my pain decreased substantially. I really appreciate all the services from the adjustments, rollers and even exercise room. I would highly recommend this facility to everyone. The entire staff are friendly, professional and just simply great!

--Sherri


Everyone was incredibly professional and helpful.  The staff is friendly and goes beyond what was expected to meet my needs and education me about my condition.

--Jon


Came in with severe and constant numbness and tingling in my legs and feet. The treatment worked quickly and resolved all of my symptoms. Thanks!

--Erik


My arms were falling asleep every night and had numbness and tingling during the day. I no longer have any of those symptoms during the day and have very rare episodes of pain at night due to my treatment here at Stamford Sports & Spine

--Eric


I came in for hip pain and stiff neck that also affected my right arm and hand. Using the relaxing rolling / traction bed and electrical muscle stimulation along with stretching and the adjustments my hip pain is gone. I can walk without sharp pains running up and down my legs. My neck range of motion has improved and my muscles are more flexible and less spastic.

--Karen


I had severe neck pain which was aggravated by a recent move. I have been coming to be adjusted for a few weeks now and not only has it helped with the neck pain I had been experiencing, but it has also made me feel better overall. I feel like I am able to sit up straighter, and my muscles are looser and less tense. I no longer have the intense pain I had once been experiencing

--Kim


When I came in my pain was a 10 out of 10. After just one week of care my pain went down to a 4 and has been improving ever since. The staff are very friendly and great educators. I learned a lot about my body and how to take better care of myself.

--Heidi


After a car accident,  I had to seek help for my upper back and neck pain. Slowly but surely I started to feel better, not immediately, but by keeping up with my visits with Dr. Q & Dr. Z. Now I can tell you that I feel leaps and bounds better, and am now looking forward to a pain-free summer.

--Rudy


I have been with Stamford Sports & Spine for more than a year now. I still remember how much pain I was in during my first session. I can now walk in and out without any aches or pains.

--Rick


When I first started going to Stamford Sports & Spine, my back had been seizing up with alarming regularity. After just a few months of working with Dr. Z and Dr. Q, I feel much more confident in my daily activities and have even been able to return to the gym.

--Dan


Thank you to Dr. Z, Dr. Q and the whole Stamford Sports & Spine team! For many years, I have been suffering from severe back pain that would sometimes keep me from going to work. The recurring pain would come and go and I couldn't figure out what I was doing to cause it. When I came to the office, Dr. Z took x-rays, did a complete examination and educated me as to what was happening and why. I began treatment and was given exercises to prevent these injuries from happening in the future. Since starting the treatment, I have seen a great improvement in my back. The pain is gone and I have an increased range of motion. Thanks again to the entire staff who are very friendly and always willing to accommodate my hectic schedule when I make appointments.

--Ron


The strabismus in my eyes caused a vertical deviation in my eye placement.  This resulted in my head naturally tilting to the right and throwing my muscular structure in my neck and shoulders off.  I had accepted the tilt and tightness as a way of life and a natural dis-figuration of my spine.  I almost didn't sign on for initial treatment.  After 3 visits I have already noticed a difference in the position of my head, my posture and regular comfort levels.  There is still a ways to go to rid that area of  a lifetime of dysfunction, but what a relief to know it's treatable and already improving.

-Jenn


I found Dr. Z and Dr. Q earlier in the week after experiencing some back pain and sciatica. After the consultation and x-rays I began therapy. After just 2 treatments I felt much better and had a significant reduction in discomfort in the area of concern. I am looking forward to continuing my treatment in an effort for long term recovery and a return to my heavy exercise routine.

--Tom


FANTASTIC. When I leave I feel like a whole new woman. I have been going there for my neck pain and headaches for about 1 year now; off and on and ever since I started treatment there my headaches have been reduced to one every few months instead of a few every month. The intensity of of my pain has also been reduced to almost nothing. The doctors seem to have a very friendly relationship with all of the patients and I feel very welcomed by the staff as well. Not to mention I love how they incorporate therapeutic massages into my treatment. I have since sent over many of my colleagues and family, who also share the same feelings. Thank you.

--Bri


I had a great experience. My low back pain is completely gone. I found the staff extremely knowledgeable, accommodating and friendly. I would highly recommend them.

--Jay F.

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